WHAT IS GIVING TUESDAY? A common description is, “Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end of year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #Giving Tuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.” Facebook and almost all major non-profits have jumped on the bandwagon to focus on encouraging people to give of their time, talent and treasure during this end of the year season and hopefully throughout the year. Many organizations have found donors who will match all gifts given to their causes during this season thus doubling the gifts given. Causes include everything from religious, medical, animal care, orphans, and the starving & under-nourished, and just about any other social cause in the world. The movement depends mainly on social media and the charitable nature of people around the world to move people to get involved in giving in all aspects. Last year $300 million dollars was generated through this promotion to a variety of causes. So many see #Giving Tuesday “as a way to counterbalance the consumerism of the holiday season. And what says holidays more than giving back?” In fact half of the non-profit organizations will receive the majority of their contributions between October and December (GuideStar survey).
Charitable giving should be encouraged at all times so I am not opposed to #Giving Tuesday but I would rather see God’s people have a better biblical philosophy of giving of their resources to God’s work in this world. And as the Executive Director of a Christian non-profit I understand the giving seasons of the year and how vital the financial gifts are in the last quarter of the year. The Apostle Paul reminds us, ‘we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35 NIV). James also reminds us that true practice of our faith requires more than just money, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world,” (James 1:27 KJV). The work of the local church in all locations is also dependent on the weekly offerings given by God’s people as encouraged in God’s Word. And the bible also tells us, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously,” (2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV). So let me encourage you to give generously during this holiday season. You may have some catching up to do in your giving where you have fallen short this year or you may receive funds yourself toward the end of the year that will allow you to give generously to God’s work. And we should evaluate our time and talent during this end of the year time and seek ways to use those things for God’s work in this world as well. And unashamedly I would ask you to consider the work of Caribbean Vision Ministries during this holiday season and consider a financial gift to assist them in their Christian ministry among some of the poorest people in the world.